After telling this story, Brent remarked that he can't even remember his second grade teacher's name, let alone the kids in his class! I must admit, I have a pretty remarkable memory. Memory, however, is one of those fickle things that may be here one day and gone the next. That is a big reason I write on this blog. After sharing the pencil poking story, other memories came flashing back. I thought I would capture a few of those elementary stories here before time takes them from me.
- One day after preschool I came home and informed my mother, "Me and Lacy are making best friends." I held true to that statement for most of my elementary years.
- In kindergarten there was always one point in the day where we sat in a circle to read, share, or learn a new letter [Mr. S…he is a supersonic streak in the sky!]. My self proclaimed best friend, Lacy, was already known for being a bit antsy when forced to sit still and one day she just couldn't take it any more. Mrs. Ward was right in the middle of a book and Lacy popped up out of her criss-cross applesauce position and did a full on cartwheel smack dab in the middle of our circle. We giggled and our eyes widened. It was the bravest thing any one of us had done all year.
- Every day during nap time if a kid actually fell asleep, he or she got to put a sticker on a chart. I don't remember what the stickers earned you, if anything, but I knew I wanted to have a neat line of stickers after my name to proclaim my ability to take naps! So most days I laid perfectly frozen, and when I would hear my teacher tiptoeing around to check for snoozing kiddos, I perfected the "look-like-you're-asleep" look. I would close my eyes, but not too tightly because when one is truly asleep their eyes are almost feather like. I would let my lips part just a little bit because, like the eyes, if pursed too tightly it is obvious one is really away. I would let my limbs and extremities loosen completely and regulate my breathing just so. I got a sticker everyday except the day that I decided to pull a tooth during nap time.
- One day at recess, two of my friends and I saw a portion of a rock sticking on on the side of the grassy bank. We gathered some woodchips and began digging, digging, digging at the rock. Since one of my friends happened to be the teacher's son, her eyes quickly found us and told us we needed to knock it off. But we were SO close. And he was her son afterall, so we figured we had a little leeway. So we finished until it came out. It was beautiful. I automatically saw a koala bear take shape in its grayish hue and its figure and scrolled through my rock collection in my head. No, I didn't have any like this. It was perfect. And then she told us we had to stand out for the rest of recess for disobeying. I clung to the rock and sauntered over to the side of the playground. It was winter, so I flipped my hood up, knowing that no one would even know it was me. And then I realized that I was wearing a bright pink parka with a giant kitty's face on the back. Everyone would know it was me! I began to cry.
- In first grade I started going to the "Talented and Gifted" class during a portion of every Tuesday. One day when three of us returned from this class to our regular classroom we were a bit loud. We couldn't stop talking about the maggots we had seen crawling through the acorns [or something like that?!] and even thought it was actually Eric talking I got my name written on the board for the first time ever. This began my hate of the talented and gifted program.
- We always lined up alphabetically according to our last names. This put be in front of Drew E. Who always sneezed snot the color of electricity. Seriously. The brightest green you've ever seen. I felt bad for being so happy when he moved at the end of the year.
- In second grade when I wasn't poking Drew with pencils, my friend Kyle and I were busy trying to give ourselves bloody noses. We would take our heaviest text books, which at this point were barely even hard backs, and bang them as hard as we could allow ourselves against our noses. Neither one of us ever succeeded.
- In third grade I passed a note down my row about a substitute teacher. It was horribly mean. I wrote her name, and drew a picture of a thumbs down sign. She found it. I felt miserable for weeks. It took me a full week before I had the courage to tell my mom what I had done, but I felt better after I did.
- One day I was walking to Excel [the talented and gifted class], and got caught up in talking. We were walking along the side of the school building and the windows opened out at an angle towards the sidewalk. Right at eye level for me. Unknowingly I walked straight into one of the points and it knocked me out. I wasn't under for long but remember waking up laying on the sidewalk and wondering what had happened. I had a scar on my forehead for several years, but it is gone now.
- In fourth grade another girl and I brought in little plastic animals. I had a whale and she had a little horse or something. We tied yarn around them and when we would transition somewhere through the hallways her and I would drop our strings down and "walk" our pets. If our teacher turned around we snapped them back up as quickly as we could…not wanting to know what wrath awaited us if we were found out.
- One day during a restroom break I was waiting in my class' line and glanced over at the class next to me. I happened to notice the teacher, an older lady who always sort of frightened me, had forgotten to zip her zipper. I didn't say anything and to this day I feel bad. [And tell my students that if I do that to please let me know!]
- In fifth grade my homeroom teacher smelled like sunsets and flowers and I loved her for it.
- In sixth I finally quite the Exel program. I proved my intelligence in my science classroom though when we were studying magnets. I remember learning about how the North and South ends attract to one another. I raised my hand and, in all seriousness, asked if that meant that all refrigerators were "like North" and all magnets made for them were "like South?"
Oh to be a kid again. I loved my childhood. I loved school. I have many more memories I could share but these were the ones that surfaced while I remembered today. I'm sure if I wrote more tomorrow different ones would play out: Like the day Jessica puked the pop "Surge" all over the hallway [I'm pretty sure the company stopped selling Surge after hearing about that incident], or when Kyle [the same bloody-nose-game-Kyle] tried to take my favorite seat by the window when we were in sixth grade and I jumped on his back earning my first pink slip of my elementary career. Or I could even write about the endless "Oregon Trail" memories from Library, or the "Magic Mints" our principal would give us when we had a sick stomach. But for today, these memories will have to suffice.